Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran left Game 3 of the NLCS against the Giants with a strained left knee and did not appear in Game 4 on Thursday evening.
But he returned to action — even stealing a base — in Game 5 and should be a go again for Game 6.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said in a chat with the media Saturday that “everything is good” with Beltran’s knee following Friday night’s loss to the Giants and a subsequent flight to San Francisco.
Beltran, a .371/.479/.810 career hitter in the playoffs, is batting .382/.463/.794 with three home runs, five doubles, six RBI and two stolen bases in 10 games this postseason. He’s trying to lead St. Louis to its second straight World Series. The best-of-seven NLCS is currently led 3-2 by the Cardinals.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.